The Royal World Premiere of No Time To Die, Daniel Craig’s fifth and final adventure as James Bond 007, took place at the Royal Albert Hall (RAH) in central London on the evening of Tuesday, 28th September, and, despite the very British weather (rain, wind and the need for umbrellas) it proved to be a truly memorable and double royal occasion for 007, with two sets of Royals in attendance as the very special guests.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were joined by the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, and were accompanied into the RAH premiere by EON producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, who walked with the Royal guests into the Hall. And, in a big change compared to previous premieres, instead of enormous crowds of the general public, onlookers and autograph hunters, the immediate outside viewing areas were given over to NHS workers and members of the Armed Forces, who were able to watch the arrival of the main stars and other guests. It was a generous and welcome ‘thank you’ to all those who have done so much to help the UK during the recent Covid emergency.
Daniel Craig was, inevitably, the centre of attention as he arrived and calmly walked down the very wide red carpet, looking every inch the hero of the 25-film James Bond franchise and also relieved that the latest 007 movie has finally reached where it belongs – the Big Screen.
Appropriately, Daniel wore a smart reddish-coloured tuxedo. At one stage, reflecting on his 15 years as James Bond and on the fact that the new movie had now arrived after 18 months of delays, he emphasised that the Bond role was ‘incredibly important to cinema and to history, and the weight of that has been on my shoulders for a while’. He added, however: ‘I’ve been incredibly lucky’. He also said that he hopes the movie can help ‘drive people back to the cinema’, as the industry has been under great pressure during the last 18 months or so. Reflecting on the new movie and that fact that it was his last as 007, he also told the media: ‘I’m incredibly proud… but it’s time to move on’.
Special guests for the premiere included Lashana Lynch, Lea Seydoux, Rami Malek, Ana de Armas, Naomie Harris, Cary Fukunaga, and Billie Eilish. The main writers of the film, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and Phoebe Waller-Bridge, were also in attendance. Naomie Harris, who reprises her role as Miss Eve Moneypenny for the third time in the new film, said it was ‘an emotional night’ because it is Daniel’s final outing in the role. Echoing Daniel’s comments, she said she was really hoping that the movie would entice people back into the cinemas.
Going on the evidence of advance ticket sales at the British Box Office, it is very evident that cinemagoers are about to return to the big screen in huge numbers in the UK, and the cinema industry is about to receive a huge and badly-needed boost due to Mr. James Bond. And Daniel Craig more than deserves his place in this huge success. As Rami Malek, who plays the main villain the new film, put it, Daniel is – to use a British phrase – ‘a great bloke’.
Welcome back, 007! We have all missed you. And many congratulations to Daniel and all those who helped make the 25th James Bond film in the smash-hit EON series.